Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Halo Legends Anime Review

Halo Legends
Warner Home Video
Complete Collection - 1 disc
119 min.
$14.98 (2010)
$19.98 (2010) Special Edition (2 disc)
ISBN 883929099245
Japanese/English Audio
Japanese/English/French/Spanish Subtitles
Directors - Frank O'Connor/Joseph Chou/Toshiyuki Kanno/Hiroshi Yamazuki/Koji Sawai/Tomoki Muraki/Daisuke Nishio/Hideki Futamura/Keiichi Sugiyama
Studios - Studio 4°C/Production I.G/Casio Entertainment/Toei Animation/Bones/Warner Bros./343 Industries

Synopsis: Seven tales from the Halo science fiction universe:
  • "The Babysitter" - A team of Helljumpers attempt a long-distance assassination of a Covenant Prophet and are led by a Spartan.  Constant screw-ups by the troopers distract the Spartan from completing the mission.  Can the troopers suck it up for long enough to kill the Prophet?
  • "The Duel" - A covenant Arbiter openly dissents from the Covenant religion and is targeted for assassination by a legion of footsoldiers.  Though a powerful warrior he also has a loving family which proves too tempting a target by one Covenant assassin.  Can the Arbiter fight to save his family in time?
  • "The Package" - An elite group of Spartans must retrieve a special package from a Covenant ship.  They board Booster Frames and begin a space fighter battle.  Can the group get to the ship and find the package before they all die horrible space deaths?
  • "Origins" - Cortana, an artificial intelligence, recounts the origins of the Halo weapon system.  She tells of the ancient race called the Forerunners and the deadly plague which brought them low called the Flood.  Forced to destroy the universe in order to stop their hated enemies along with dooming themselves.  Get the origin of the entire Halo universe in one shot.
  • "Homecoming" - Spartan Daisy-023 helps evacuate a UNSC squad from overwhelming Covenant forces.  She has flashbacks of her time in the Spartan-II supersoldier project and specifically the day she breaks out in order to return to her previous life.  She is shocked to find herself still living her old life.  Who is she and why does she wear a teddy bear charm?
  • "Prototype" - The Covenant are close to gaining possession of a key research facility which houses a powerful prototype weapon.  A demolition squad is dispatched to flatten the facility and led by squad leader "Ghost".  His nickname was earned after his last squad was completely annihilated except for him.  Can he stop the same thing from happening to his current squad and what is the weapon?
  • "Odd One Out" - Spartan 1337 possesses incredible bad luck - he accidentally fell out of his transport and got stranded on a remote planet.  Worse, the Covenant sends their latest bio-weapon, Pluton, a being with massive powers to destroy everything in sight.  Did I mention the dinosaurs and superstrong teenagers with their biting sarcasm?  Yeah, it's going to be a long day.
Cover art for the Special Edition 2 disc set
Pros: Great animation by top studios, interesting science fiction stories, relatively easy for non-Halo fans to understand, good range of informative/action/humor stories

Cons: Mixed bag of animation and story styles, animation style on "The Duel" looks messy/blurry, may not be hardcore canon enough for the hardcore Halo fans, too many suicide missions

Spartan flying a Booster Frame
Mike Tells It Straight: American science fiction, first-person shooter game Halo gets a collection of short anime stories by top notch Japanese talent.  Halo is a massive video game franchise and we get a nice complement to their epic storylines.  I've played the games a few times, but never got deeply involved and experienced these stories as a relative newbie.  They have a very wide range and were overall very enjoyable.  I really liked how the first story was the origin to give us background information on the Halo universe and the last story was a funny parody to leave us laughing. 
Daisy-023 shoots 'em up

Warning!  If you cannot stand when a story does not follow canon to the letter then this collection is not for you.  Rarely will a franchise translate into another medium seamlessly (i.e. comic books to motion pictures as a prime example) and this instance is no exception.  Those players who have spent a good portion of their lives with these games will be the most affected.  The casual viewer and sometime player will probably enjoy this release in an oblivious manner (like me).  The hardcore fans will either love or hate it (especially those unfamiliar with anime).  It sold a ton of copies and you can buy one for relatively cheap - pick one up and find out what your weird brother has been doing in his room all these years (besides surfing the net for porn).

TO BUY and Recommendations: